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Just what have the profs done wrong?

Reader comment on item: Profs Who Hate America

Submitted by Thinker (United States), Nov 12, 2002 at 17:08

>* Why do American academics so often despise their own country >while finding excuses for repressive and dangerous regimes?

"despise"? Is not wanting your soldiers to fight a war thousands of miles away necessely equal to despise? The first question is whether America really needs the war and it seems like the profs mentioned think it does not. Is the argument then that whoever does not want his/her country to be in war despises the country?

As far as "finding excuses for repressive and dangerous regimes"...sentimentality in politics is inappropriate!

Just what regimes are repressive and dangerous? Here are a few:
(a) Saudi Arabia (ok - provides cheap oil)
(b) Russia (oh, too powerful)
(c) China (oh, too powerful)
(d) Turkey (ok - good friend)
(e) Israel (ok - a very good friend)
All violate human rights, some have nukes. But for reasons in
parenthesis, US does not bother them. I'd call it hypocrisy!

Besides, how come only US (and Israel) find Iraq dangerous? Russia, China, France didn't think so until US really, really
insisted (maybe their agreement to the resolution was not for free...Maybe Russia now will be supported in Chechnya and China's
Tibet will draw less attention)? US is the farthest from Iraq, yet worries about it most - quite suspicious.

And anybody familiar with military basics will say that there's just no way Iraq could be dangerous to US as such(only to its friend Israel, really!).

>* Why have university specialists proven so inept at >understanding the great contemporary issues of war and peace, >starting with Vietnam, then the Cold War, the Kuwait war and now >the War on Terror?

Was Vietnam intervention justified and were those profs who thought otherwise unpatriotic? I'd like to hear more
about why US's duty was to preserve the Southern Vietnamese government...and how the world would have benefitted from that.

Remember, it cost 3 million Asian civilian lifes even though the US was defeated...But let's not talk about the Cold War here too much.

The Kuwait war? Come on, does it really matter for Kuwaities if they are controlled by a Monarch with a harem and slaves, or by Saddam Hussein who sometimes uses gas (the monarch uses sticks and stones mainly) ? Both regimes are equally undemocratic, yet why prefer one over another?

Two reasons here:
A big entity in the Middle East will be more likely to be able to oust the US and become dominant in the region (that really does not belong to the US) - so it's better to keep the Arabs scattered among petty powerless monarchies. Also, if Hussein got control over the Gulf oil, he would have been able to raise the prices somewhat. Now SUVs are too expensive...GOPs don't get the vote...
internal politics issue!

War on Terror? Having been through Berkeley University, I have to agree with Mr Pipes on this one. Profs seem to sympathize with radical Islam too much, justifying fundamentalist West-haters by saying that Muslims have their rights, that they shouldn't be singled out etc. Really, they seem to underestimate the Islamic monster (based in Saudi Arabia , by the way!).

But here Mr. Pipes has a contradiction: he seems to imply that the war on Iraq is part of the "war on Terror". But hey, Terror
comes from Wahabbi fanatics who want an Islamic State all over the planet and who want to kill the followers of all other religions and schools of thought. Is Saddam one of them? No way - he has always been the enemy of Islamic Fundamentalists. Saddam is a modern-style dictator - he does not seek to impose Stone Age on the world, like Bin Laden wants to. Remember, Saddam liberated women in Iraq, kept the state strictly secular and strangulated all the seeds of Fundamentalism -- and now he is being blamed for 9/11?

I think it's pretty obvious that the true motivation for US war with Iraq is not the "War on Terror" - it's Iraq's threat to US rulership of the Middle East (which has a lot of *good* and *cheap* oil, on which the American way of life so much depends). 9/11 is being used as an excuse for everything novadays!

But fear of largely naive American masses is not such a great prism to perceive the world through: even North Korea and Cuba ended up in America's Terrorism black list by that token, and who could be farther from terrorism the Islamic style!

>* Why do professors of linguistics, chemistry, American history, >genetics and business present themselves in public as >authorities on the Middle East?

Did anybody say "I'm an authority on the Middle East"? These profs (whose level of understanding of World Politics is much higher than that of an average American (who mainly watches CNN that dedicates several days in a row to a psycho with a rifle, as if there's no other news)), read newspapers, listen to Mr. Bush. and what Mr. Bush says is not so obvious from what they read in newspapers. So they say : "something's wrong here" and "these are the contradictions we find suspicious". Does it really mean they present themselves as experts? And don't forget, we are talking war here and every person who cares just a little bit about his/her people is anxious to understand: what the war is for?

A war is a terrible thing. Even though the US now has the technology to attack with impunity, there will be thousands if not dozens of thousands Iraqis dead. So thinking people want to know just what the price is being payed for! Just so that the gasoline is cheaper and US has military bases somewhere in a desert?

Alright, it seems like non-American lives cost little as compared to American lives in the public imagination. But think about it : the US will have to stay in Iraq for some time. That means that most likely, some US soldiers will be killed (or is it expected that Iraqis will love US occupation?).

That also means that more money will be spend on defense. Is militarization of American social life and of American economy such a good thing? Obviously, it's a bad thing and professor say just that and they need not be experts.

>* What is the long-term effect of an extremist, intolerant and >anti-American environment on university students?

What was the effect of freeing blacks from slavery...what was the effect of workers unionizing...what was the effect of 1960's civil rights movement, what was the effect of italian immigration...what was the effect of gay rights...

Now what will be the effect of American students not wanting to kill people in some desert far away and then staying there for some time to contain the brothers and sisters of the killed ones? I'd say the most positive effect.

Instead of shouting "Heil Hitler" or "Allah Akbar" or "Kill The Niggers" (or other meaningless slogans that history is so rich with) and
becoming blind wheels in an ugly heartless machine, they ask a simple question: "War is one of the worst things in the humanity - is this war necessary for us or is it a bloody game of those who are powerful?"

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